My mind wants to recall her as missing a few teeth, important teeth, front teeth, memorable teeth. She wasn’t though. She had a full set when I concentrate and fully recollect. If the same events were happening in a parallel Universe, or if these same unfortunate series of organisms swirled together at some other point in the history of time either past or future (time is not linear) then I’m positive that she was missing teeth those other times. In the alternate reality I don’t have any moments in the driveway after the special effects magic show, the man on stilts severs his head on the ceiling fan, and I never come to this party.
I’m a “great guy” you’ll tell me when you break up with me. I’ll make “someone really happy one day.” I just hope it’s sooner than later because I can’t imagine the toll your negative energy is going to take on me. I can’t be the one to make you happy if you won’t allow me. I also know I can’t keep you happy if I never made you happy.
When a man and a woman stand together in a driveway at a raucous party to have a serious conversation about how much they mean to each other (or as well as a drunk person can relate to a sober person) there’s a moment. It’s a moment that’s only had when the man and woman abruptly quit pretending whatever they have to say is pertinent, and gaze into each other’s eyes – and the woman becomes a girl and she sways on account of the liquor swaying in her bloodstream – and their heads tilt and her eyes quickly flicker down to your lips (brief narrative shift hinting at the author’s reality) and their heads are a few inches closer than comfortable and in that just moment I think, “does she want to kiss me?”
Years and years of personal history are recounted and I straighten myself out and realize, “probablymaybe NO”
Why no? A) it would change my dynamic with this person. I don’t have time to figure out a new dynamic. B) I would consequently betray my morals by making out with someone intoxicated. C) I turn into every other guy who think that girls want him. When did I get a big head?
All it takes is one night of being a bit too presumptuous and correctly misinterpreting signals (wait… yes that’s right). Pure accident, dumb luck. Take a risk, kiss a girl. That’s also how people find out they’re homosexuals, I suppose.
My assessment skills kicked into overdrive and given the circumstances of my friendship to this person coupled with the reality of the wind blowing all three of her sheets in every which direction, instead of doing selfish irreparable emotional damage, I responded to her statement before the moment froze us.
“You’re NOT an asshole!”
I give her the hug she desperately needs and set her down and she falls to the ground. I want to punch the inventor of high heels square between their chin and nose. I help her up and grab her by the waist to steady her and she throws an arm around me, slathering another patch of molasses onto my side.
I’m cornered. These two older bros are comically out of place at a party full of early to mid twenties vegan East Coast transplants. They saw me pull my mason jar from my back pocket and fill it with tap water. When I turned around from the kitchen sink they were looming over me.
“What’s up man? You got lipstick all over your face. Is that from your lady?”
“Well, no.” I become acutely aware of the bright pink lips painted on either of my cheeks.
“You got a girlfriend, man?”
Hearty laughter from the man to my left – balding, tall. He elbows the other darker, wider, acne-scarred man to my right.
“Do you like punk rock?”
“Yeah, they were playing The Ramones earlier.”
“I said punk rock, not that pussy faget shit.”
He shows me his Circle Jerks tattoo etched onto his forearm. Then, an answer to my unspoken prayer, she appeared and slithered between the two men who were now hulking over me, blocking my exit from the kitchen.
“Hey pretty lady. What are you doing at this party?”
“I live here.” she says, reaching into a cabinet. “And this is my boyfriend.” bringing her body close to mine.
Furrowed eyebrows, confusion. The uglier one snapped our picture with a digital camera.
“We were just talking about that.”
“There are lots of creepy old white men at this party and if you want to leave just take my hand.”
I give her my trust and before they can point another question toward us we’re out of the kitchen, through the living room, out the door, down the steps, and standing in the driveway.
I’d still do anything for you. Even be broken up with.
“Hey thanks for saving me back in that kitchen.”
She took a swig from the jar of molasses, not knowing it was molasses, because frankly – who drinks molasses knowingly? Every sound of disappointment was groaned when the knowledge of what she ingested was gained.
“This is fucking molasses!”
She screamed at no one and turned the jar upside down and shook its gloopy, sweet contents onto the cement. She stumbled into me because of those damned heels and I felt the cold, sticky jar connect to my chest and watched it ooze and be pulled away, still attached by a trail of dark sugary muck.
“I’m such an ASSHOLE!”
I’ve written and typed and spoken these words and given them all this power. I’ve put them out to the Universe and I’ve begun to believe in them, but I’m also not quite sure they’re what I truly mean. I must believe them, right? I have so much to learn when it comes to not living inside my head.
“This is Davey!” I’m being introduced to a friend. I never hear what their name is because a space helmet is put over my head and every sound is muffled inside of it and the visor is fogged so I can’t read lips.